By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
The Greater Amsterdam School District Board of Education is leaning toward selling its Central Administration Building on Liberty Street in the city once the building becomes vacant at the end of the year.
That was the option board members favored at Wednesday's meeting, when Superintendent Thomas Perillo asked the board how they want to proceed once the staff relocates to the high school in October.
"We can keep it and use it as a warehouse or we can put it on the market and sell it," Perillo said. "If we do put in on the market, we should have some realtors come in and make presentations on how they would market the building."
The board decided earlier this year to relocate the central administration staff and the special education department to other facilities in the district as a cost savings to residents.
"The building is going to cost too much to put repair into, so we felt that it was better to look at options with existing buildings that we already have," he said.
The special education department officially moved out July 1, relocating to its new home at the William B. Tecler Arts in Education Magnet School. Administrative offices, including Perillo's and the board of education, will be relocated to the high school, which is still undergoing construction. Perillo anticipates moving in to the new digs by October.
While there are several months to go, Perillo advised the board to begin thinking about its next steps. He suggested they start by getting an appraisal to find out what the building is worth and whether there is interest from buyers.
Board member Peter A. Pritchard asked what the appraisal would cost the district.
Board attorney William Mycek said when the former Walter Elwood Museum at Guy Park Manor was appraised, it cost between $1,000 and $1,500. He said he could reach out to the same company for a cost estimate.
"The next thing is if we do want to sell it then we get some realtors and see what realtor we would want to hire to do that sale," he said.
Board member Robert L. Vennett raised concerns that the condition of the building would deter buyers.
"We had trouble selling Bacon," he said. "This building is in worse condition."
Perillo acknowledged the condition of the building but said it is in a good location in the city, and features two loading docks, which could attract buyers.
Other board members were against keeping the building.
"It doesn't seem fiscally responsible to me to pay for a building that is no longer in use," board president Kent McHeard said.
Board member Nellie Bush agreed.
"I don't think we want to be landlords," she said.
The board moved to allow Mycek to look into obtaining appraisal services, and a resolution authorizing the appraisal could be drafted for the next board meeting.